Angelina and Billy Bob adopt a Cambodian baby. Plus, news about James Bond, Ted Koppel, Chris Matthews, Billy Joel, Elton John, James Gandolfini, and others

By Gary Susman
March 15, 2002 at 05:00 AM EST
Jolie & Thornton: Steve Granitz/

BABY TALK Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thornton spilled the beans about their newly adopted Cambodian baby, whose existence was revealed by Jolie’s proud papa, Jon Voight, at Monday’s Oscar nominees’ luncheon in Beverly Hills. The couple say they’ve named the boy Maddox. He’s seven and a half months old, and they met him in November in a Cambodian orphanage. Jolie, a United Nations goodwill ambassador who toured refugee camps in Cambodia during her ”Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” shoot, received custody of the baby earlier this week on the African set of her upcoming refugee-themed movie, ”Beyond Borders.” ”We are very grateful to have him in our lives,” the new parents said in a statement. ”In May, we return home, where his brothers Willie and Harry are very excited to meet him,” the couple said, referring to Thornton’s sons by a previous marriage. Voight, announcing at Monday’s lunch that he’d just become a grandfather, offered to go to Africa to babysit and change diapers.

REEL DEAL The upcoming James Bond movie, long known by the working title ”Bond 20,” finally has a real name: ”Die Another Day.” That makes sense, because while you may yet Die Another Day, if You Only Live Twice, you can always Live and Let Die, since Tomorrow Never Dies.

TUBE TALK Call it courtesy, or call it damage control. Disney chief Michael Eisner phoned Ted Koppel yesterday, a day after David Letterman announced he wouldn’t be moving to Disney’s ABC, thus sparing Koppel’s ”Nightline,” at least for now. Eisner’s call was apparently a response to an angry statement issued by Koppel and his producers Monday night that said Disney’s cavalier treatment of the show during the Letterman negotiations had done ”collateral damage” to ”Nightline,” and that those who worked on the show might not feel like sticking around without assurances that ”Nightline” wouldn’t ultimately be axed for some yet unannounced late-night entertainment program. Neither Eisner nor Koppel revealed the details of their conversation; various reports have called the chat ”very friendly” but conspicuously lacking the ”clear and unmistakable signal” Koppel’s statement had asked for regarding ”Nightline”’s future.

Some less friendly words were directed Koppel’s way by a fellow interviewer, CNBC’s Chris Matthews. Speaking yesterday at a Cable Television Public Affairs Association lunch in Washington, the ”Hardball” host echoed comments made last week by an anonymous Disney exec that ”Nightline” had lost its relevance in a 24-hour cable news world. According to Broadcasting & Cable magazine, Matthews said cable had ”overtaken” broadcast networks as a provider of news, called Koppel ”not that good,” said that ”nobody watches the show,” and called Koppel’s complaint ”hypocrisy.” He even criticized the ”Nightline” host’s three-days-a-week work ethic, saying, ”If the show’s so good, why doesn’t he show up?” Letterman, in contrast, ”doesn’t mail it in,” Matthews said.

Later, Matthews tempered his remarks, telling the New York Post, ”Speaking today, I made tough comments regarding the state of the news business. In no way did I mean to imply a lack of personal respect for Ted Koppel.”…